Outdoor lighting design that does more than shine

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Way back when, all you needed for a backyard party was a little charcoal grill, some plastic cups, paper plates and bug spray. But today, outdoor entertaining is much more than that – it’s all about style and creating an ambience that your guests can savor and are sure to remember. Hosting warm-weather get-togethers doesn’t need to be complicated, though. In fact, one simple tip will go a long way in creating the perfect party environment.

So, what’s the secret? Create the perfect backdrop, then add to it.

Just as you wouldn’t pick out elements for your interior living room that clash and mismatch, you shouldn’t carelessly select unrelated items for your outdoor space. If you can tie into the overall aesthetic of your home’s exterior, so much the better.

There are a few key elements that every outdoor space needs: tables, seating, pots for plants and lighting. How you select and arrange those elements is central to creating a setting that’s more like an outdoor extension of your home, rather than any old patio in the neighborhood.

Outdoor lighting  is often an afterthought, but it should be front and center in your design process. It’s certainly a functional element – guiding your guests safely to and from your home and patio. It adds ambience to parties at dusk and after dark – plus it also presents an opportunity to create a cohesive look for your space.

For example, if you live in a classic bungalow, landscape lighting with a Mission or Craftsman touch, like the Kichler Cross Creek Path and Spread Light, will look great. Or, if your home has a classic Colonial look, the World Imports Revere Large Outdoor Wall Mount light would be the perfect complement. Paired with furniture and planters that have similar lines and character, and you’ll establish a design foundation that can be adapted to suit any soiree.

There are few things better than spending time outdoors when the weather’s at its finest. Utilize these tips and you’ll enjoy a season of sensational outdoor parties.